“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18)
I have always been hard on myself. I always put so much pressure on myself to perform, usually in sports. Even after my sporting days were done, I carried over that self-condemning attitude into my adult life. I have a high standard for myself and when I don’t reach that standard on any given day, the self-condemnation sets in.
This is why I need verses like the one from Isaiah. Isaiah was speaking to a people who might have wrestled with condemnation. God had given them so many chances to turn back to him, but they didn’t. Finally, they had to face God’s judgment because of their sin. They probably felt defeated and hopeless. But, notice what the prophet Isaiah said about God and how God would treat His people despite their sin. Isaiah told them that the Lord longs to be gracious to them. The word in the original Hebrew means “to wait.” Isaiah told the people of Israel that God was going to be patient with them and still show them grace and compassion. God was not going to hold their sin against them; rather, he was going to rise from his throne just to show them compassion. God’s action would lead to His compassion.
The greatest way God acted was by sending Jesus. Because of Jesus, we do not have to feel condemned because we aren’t condemned. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience the full grace and compassion of God who longs to be gracious to us.
Paul said in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This means there is no condemnation from others AND from ourselves. Jesus took the condemnation we deserved so that we could experience the compassion of God that we don’t deserve.
Question: Have you experienced the compassion of God for yourself?
Challenge: Memorize Isaiah 30:18 and Romans 8:1.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I am not condemned because of you.
Ryan Reveley, Chapel Leader -- Lowell Spinners